genarti: Fountain pen lying on blank paper, nib in close focus. ([misc] ink on the page)
[personal profile] genarti posting in [community profile] club93
And here is 3.2.3, "Petites armées et grands batailles," or "Small Armies and Great Battles."

Date: 2014-06-10 03:45 pm (UTC)
primeideal: Multicolored sideways eight (infinity sign) (Default)
From: [personal profile] primeideal
"some with their wives beside them; for the peasent women often follow the peasants; in Vendée, pregnant women served as spies." Interesting detail, although that’s followed by Lantenac equating "the baggage, the women, and everything of no use."

It’s really not a great battle, at least at first; Gauvain’s standing there, but the peasants are running around like crazy and shooting each other. Not very heroic.

First introduction of Captain Guéchamp: he’s described as “brave” and will eventually be famous in-universe, although he too is a fictional character.

"Only half a battalion, it will be remembered, had been exterminated at Herbe-en-Pail, and Radoub had the good luck not to form a part of it." It was definitely not remembered at the time—when we came to that and everyone was like "aw, poor Radoub," I had glossed over the part where only half of them died. Anyway, he’s alive! One upside.

So, then Gauvain comes up with some very tropey plot to scare the peasants into panicking despite their outnumbering his troops about four to one, it works perfectly, and the peasants aren’t able to fight any kind of great battle at all. Maybe the fact that people aren’t killed is what’s so great about it? But even the fact that the Bretons are so unenlightened and creatures of the underground dark doesn’t help them in any way, despite the fact there is “No light anywhere.”

"L’Imânus killed two or three of the deserters to no purpose" Exactly L’Imânus’ style. This guy doesn’t even kill with a purpose, he just likes being cruel.

…I’m still not over the ridiculousness of the chapter title. Is this supposed to parallel the stealthy Claymore, which was all about disguise and false allegiance? Gauvain’s being the sneakiest, with his twenty men faking an enormous army.

3.2.3: Petites Armées et Grandes Batailles

Date: 2014-06-11 01:41 am (UTC)
bobbiewickham: Kalinda Sharma of The Good Wife (Default)
From: [personal profile] bobbiewickham
Hugo is really good at writing battle scenes. This one is frantic and furious and touching all at once. Maybe my favorite moment was the nursing mother whose husband was beside her with a broken leg, “tranquilly” shooting in front of him.

The peasants don’t know how to use their cannons without officers to show them, exemplifying how aristocracy is stupid because it deprives a community of the intelligence of the majority of its members.

Gauvain is temporarily flummoxed by Lantenac’s forces barricading themselves in the old market building. He is standing outside a barricade and a cannon takes his hat off; he dreamily picks it up again. Welp. Way to dance on both my Gauvain feelings (apparently I have those now) and my Courfeyrac feelings there, Hugo. I can suddenly see why @amarguerite named her Courfeyrac Gauvain, apart from the Arthurian connection.

And Gauvain tricks Lantenac’s forces into thinking they’re outnumbered, with the help of only nineteen other men, including Radoub and the remnants of the Bonnet Rouge. I already loved the Bonnet Rouge. I am now in love with Gauvain. HE IS THE BEST and Hugo’s gonna kill him, isn’t he, he will decapitate Gauvain and then laugh about it afterwards.

Lantenac, observing all this with the detached air of Emperor Palpatine viewing the rebel attack from his perch in the Death Star, just thinks this reaffirms his worldview. Peasants are no good; he has to wait for the trained English troops. Hugo sort of agrees with Lantenac, though perhaps for different reason. Hugo says peasants catch fear the way thatch catches fire, and that’s why they panic and flee. The earlier bit about the peasants’ inability to use the cannons makes me think that Hugo blames Lantenac, and the aristocracy generally, for keeping the peasants servile, because that’s what makes them so scared and ready to lose their heads and flee.
Edited Date: 2014-06-11 01:42 am (UTC)

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